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woman labeling her moving box as fragile to indicate fragile items inside the box

Shipping fragile packages that don’t result in any damage can be tricky, but with the right materials it is definitely attainable. Learn how to ship delicate items with the proper shipping materials and discover the level of importance that your methods can have when it comes to shipping different types of fragile items.

What items are considered fragile?

Fragile items can be anything that could potentially break, shatter, chip, or deform in any way while in transit. The best way to protect fragile items is to use quality shipping and packaging supplies that can prevent those things from happening. Shipping materials that would help prevent damage to fragile items would be products like packing paper, packing peanuts and bubble wrap. Examples of fragile items can be things such as:

  • Glassware
  • Ceramics
  • Figurines and antiques
  • Artwork/picture frames
  • Electronics and technology supplies
  • Items that contain liquids or chemicals

The Best Methods to Package and Ship Fragile Items

There are different methods for packing fragile items to ensure that they won’t break, shatter, leak, or become damaged during transit. Depending on the type of item, there can be different guidelines to consider when packing something that could potentially be damaged. Here are some suggestions that might prevent damage:

  • Use a heavy-duty box to protect the fragile item while it’s being shipped. Investing in a good box for your fragile items might help them stay intact compared to a flimsy or box that is less durable.
  • Label the box as “fragile” with a fragile box label to distinguish the level of protection it needs during its journey. This label can inform individuals that are handling the box to be extra cautious.
  • Use good quality shipping supplies like bubble wrap or packing peanuts to prevent damage while in transit. Try not to leave any part of the item exposed and fit as many packing peanuts in the box as possible.
  • Carefully wrap the item with packing paper and follow with bubble wrap for an extra layer of protection. Stuff the packing peanuts into every nook and cranny to ensure maximum security.
  • Tape the outside of the box with multiple strands of packing tape to prevent the box from opening.
  • If you aren’t concerned about shipping costs, consider using a blanket or another soft material to cushion your item even more. Something like an antique or a mirror that could easily break might hold up better with a blanket wrapped around it or even felt material during the delivery.

The Best Packing Material for Fragile Items

When it comes to the material when packing your item the level of fragility is important to consider, as well as the number of items you are shipping. Packing paper and bubble wrap are some of the best packing materials when it comes to preventing damage to your items because they are lightweight. If your item is made of glass, wrapping it in packing paper and then bubble wrap would help to make sure it doesn’t break. If there are multiple fragile items in the box, it might be a good idea to wrap them all individually and separate them the best you can with sturdy pieces of cardboard or a divider of some sort. These materials are cost effective when it comes to shipping prices. They won’t add much to the overall shipping price due to their low density in the box.

If the items cannot be separated and would be better to be stacked on top of one another like ceramic dishes, putting a good amount of packing paper in between each item would be ideal, along with bubble wrapping each item for double protection. There are different levels of thickness when it comes to bubble wrap. If you have to stack items it might be better to wrap them individually in thinner bubble wrap, and to use thicker bubble wrap to surround all of the items.

Packing peanuts are great for stuffing into the crevices of the box to prevent the item(s) from moving around. Biodegradable packing peanuts are available which helps lessen the impact they have on the environment. Packing peanuts also tend to absorb moisture which will further prevent damage to your items such as mold or mildew if the box gets stuck in rain or snow.

Why is it important for fragile items to be packed safely?

Preventing damage to items while shipping is important on many different levels. If you are moving, the goal is for your items to arrive at their destination in the same way you packed them. If you hire movers to do the heavy lifting and your items aren’t packed safely enough, some items could experience wear and tear along the ride.

If you purchase something online and it arrives damaged, it can be a waste of time and money because you need to either replace it or get reimbursed for the inconvenience. It is important that items are packed safely especially if it’s something a customer spends money on. Personal safety also comes into play in this instance, because if an item is damaged and sharp pieces of glass or other materials are throughout the box, someone could get injured.

On the other hand, if you are shipping out orders from a business standpoint, you want to protect those items from breaking as much as possible due to customer satisfaction levels. Customers could leave negative reviews if their order comes damaged in any way. The company could develop a bad reputation for shipping products without proper protection.

Companies worried about potential damage to their items during shipping can opt to purchase shipping insurance, which can come in handy if this is a recurring issue. Having shipping insurance can be helpful if your company sells a lot of fragile items and can also save a lot of time and money overall.

W.B. Mason has all the shipping supplies you need to protect your fragile items. At low discounted prices with fast delivery, you can receive your order as soon as the following day with our G.O.L.D. Star Delivery service. Purchasing in bulk is a good way to save money on shipping and packaging supplies, especially if you use these types of supplies frequently.

What is the purpose of labeling boxes as fragile prior to shipping?

Labeling boxes as “fragile” with a sticker label can be beneficial to further prevent damage to your delicate items. Movers, or people working with packages such as UPS or USPS should be aware of fragile items. Labels indicating that the box has something fragile in it is important to have if you want the people handling your items to use extra caution. While it’s not guaranteed that your box will be handled with the best care, it’s still good to put the label on the box anyway.

Shipping Fragile Items Internationally

Shipping anything internationally can be a bit stressful, but shipping a fragile item isn’t any more difficult than shipping a non-fragile item. To ease the stress of sending something overseas and to minimize fear of it breaking, consider packing your item with extra packing peanuts and wrap it one or two more times in the bubble wrap depending on the item and how big it is. Extra packing peanuts will never hurt, and it can help ensure that your item will have an additional level of protection at the end of the day.

Tips for Shipping Fragile Items

Some tips for packing fragile items aside from using labels, good quality shipping materials and getting insurance would be to:

  • Use a proper box size: Using a properly sized shipping box that can safely encapsulate your item is key for shipping fragile items. A box that is either too big or too small might not be the safest option for shipping delicate items, so make sure the box is the right size and can properly for the item.
  • Separate your items: If you can, try to pack fragile items separately from one another. If multiple breakable items are packed and shipped together, they can still break. The possibility of contact between them can increase the chance of them breaking.
  • Double up: Shipping an item in just one box can lead to potential damage. Try to get a bigger box to put the smaller box into to provide extra protection. Be sure to use shipping supplies like packing peanuts or bubble wrap around the smaller box for even more protection.

Prevent the Damage Before it Happens

Whether you are moving into a new office building or home, or shipping products out to a consumer that contains something fragile, it’s best to do everything possible to prevent damage before it happens. While it may be easier and less time consuming to pack the item(s) nonchalantly and hope for the best, taking your time to ensure the item is safe is much better in the long run. Fragile items tend to be expensive or sentimental, so you want to make sure they are protected during shipping process at all costs.


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Pickrr. Tips for Packaging & Shipping Fragile Items. ( Accessed August 11, 2022.